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The hot zone

The Ebola and Marburg viruses are extremely lethal viruses that have placed repugnant thoughts on the

minds of many people that have any background knowledge on this field of viral infections. Where does it

come from? Where does it hide? What could it do to me? As these questions burn holes in the minds of

many people, something should be done to learn more about these horrendous viruses. People sometimes

become scared stiff from the thought of the bone-chilling effects from these viruses, and had good reason

to. "Ebola, the slate wiper, did things to people that you did not want to think about. The organism was

too frightening to handle even for those who were comfortable and adept in space suits." (paperback

pg.63-64 - Project Ebola).

A large, shy man by the name of Gene Johnson was the first pioneer to venture out to find the

roots of the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Gene spent many years in Central Africa looking for these

viruses. After digging up virtually every piece of land in Central Africa, Gene Johnson wound up without

a single case or report of a virus. A man by the name of Charles Monet and a young boy referred to in this

book as Peter Cardinal both contracted the same level 4 hot virus. There is only one connection between

Charles and Peter. "The paths of Charles Monet and Peter Cardinal had crossed at only one place on earth,

and that was inside Kitum Cave." (pg. 140 - Cardinal). Kitum Cave is where the virus is expected to be

living or where the history of the Ebola virus lays. So Kitum Cave is where the search for the deadly virus

begins. Led by Gene Johnson, the team members on the Kitum Cave expedition set up many differing

animals inside the cave with the hope that one of the animals would contract the virus. Even though the

expedition's results came out negative, Kitum Cave is still the only logical place where the virus thrives.

There have been a handful of outbreaks as the cause of a shipment of monkeys to a civilized

community. For example, this occurred from a monkey shipment to an old city in central Germany.

Killing 7 out of the 31 people it infected, this virus would later be named after the city it erupted in,

Marburg. The monkeys posed as the host in this terrifying disaster. The possibility that humans are the natural host is very, very unlikely.

"...its original host was probably not monkeys, humans, or guinea pigs but some other animal or insect that

it did not kill. A virus does not generally kill its original host." (pg. 139 - Cardinal). It is almost like man

carrying a bomb that will go off no matter what. He is not immune to that bomb, it will destroy him. It is

not possible that he could have been the natural host to that bomb. It is the same story with Marburg and

Ebola. You can't carry a bomb with you and not let it do its damage. There are also theories as to where

the virus lives. Most of the theories coming from Kitum Cave. Just as these quotes from the book suggest.

"Maybe the virus lives in nettles." (pg. 392 - Camp). Inside the cave, theories included insects. "The

insects floated like snow blown sideways. The snow was alive. It was a snow of hosts. Any of them might

be carrying the virus, or none of them." (pg. 393 - Camp). The Marburg and Ebola related viruses are

scary enough to scare a small speedo off a two ton elephant. As the hunt continues, the mystery lurks deep

in the forests of Africa.

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/the-hot-zone.php



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